Your tree might be from outer space

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Well, not really.

But a new discovery supports NASA’s theory that some of life’s ingredients were formed in space and then deposited here in our planet.

NASA said today that a comet scoured by the Stardust spacecraft carried an amino acid. This acid – glycine to be exact – is essential building block for organic life.

The research results were presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC.

The samples were collected by Stardust from the Wild 2 comet by flying through its debris trail in January 2004. It took two years however, for researches just to develop techniques to accurately analyze the samples.

“The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare,” Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, said.

The findings suggest that comets can disseminate life in the universe by distributing amino assets to planets, much like insects spreading pollen to flowers.

Pretty cool huh?

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/leadership/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=219400433